It's time to come out of the closet. I write, I am an author, and I also like nice things.
I know I should abjure all fripperies in favour of sackcloth and the ashes of the latest manuscript, and 80 days out of 100 I do, but then you see when I come up for air, I fancy a handbag.
And when I am preparing to write a novel, I don't think twice about buying a beautiful new notebook, a heavyweight fountain pan, a scented candle and other items for the altar of my writing desk. I keep the bag, and maybe the wallet, close by to look at them to remind me of what will happen when I come into my kingdom, when my books are back on the bookshelves and I'm having mild panic attacks on radio stations. Then, when that day comes, I will look like I'm smart, I say to myself. I'm ready!
It's a material and a spiritual practice, getting set to write a book. A bit of preparation and comfort-shopping before a pilgrimage to the within. You have a map and...